Urban Planner
Job Details
Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego - , CA
Bachelor's Degree

ESA seeks a highly motivated Urban Planner to join us in one of our Southern California offices on a hybrid schedule. We are looking for a team member with 7 to 10 years of planning experience who is proactive and has the intellectual curiosity to continue the advancement of our established team of community planners and environmental consultants. This is a mid-level opportunity in our ever-growing team of Community Development professionals. This opportunity is focused on collaboration, delivery, and client service.  


Who We Are


ESA is a 100% employee-owned environmental consulting firm delivering work that matters.


We plan, design, permit, mitigate, and restore—for projects across our communities, infrastructure systems, open spaces, and wildlands.


Our scientists, planners, historians, archaeologists, engineers, designers, and technical specialists provide critical thinking, in-depth analyses, and committed follow-through to guide successful policy development and project planning and deliver enduring multi-objective solutions.


At ESA, we believe every employee has a unique combination of knowledge, skills, and experience that contributes to our success.


We value diversity and inclusion and celebrate the differences that make each of us unique. Our culture is built on mutual respect, recognizing that the collective sum of our individual differences and life experiences fosters our continued success and achievement for our employee-owners and our clients.


Collaborating with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives leads to better solutions and opportunities for everyone. We celebrate the differences—age, color, physical ability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, language, national origin, race, religion, veteran status, and other characteristics—that make each of us unique.


Who You Are


You are a mid- to senior-level professional with a strong desire to grow and advance your career and to develop your technical and project management skills. 


You hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with major course work in urban planning, urban design, geography, public policy; or a related interdisciplinary field, who can work with minimal direction for most tasks and manage projects. Proficiency in design software, such as Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS, SketchUp, or other is a plus. 


You have strong writing and analytical skills, and effective oral presentation skills with the ability to convey complex information understandably to different audiences.


An effective and energetic team member with 7 to 10  years of experience supporting aspects of community planning relating to land use, master planning, public policy, climate change, and urban design. You have a strong working knowledge of policy planning, land use permitting, and relevant federal, state, and local regulatory and environmental regulations and processes.


What You Will Do for ESA


As an Urban Planner, you will serve as task manager and contributing author for community planning documents, for municipal and private development clients, including but not limited to due diligence, entitlement permits, Specific/Master Plans, Area Plans, Neighborhood Plans, General Plan Updates, Climate Adaptation Plans, Planned Unit Developments, and Environmental Justice Elements.


You will be responsible for coordinating the task or project delivery schedule, managing logistics, disseminating and maintaining related information and resources, assisting with budget tracking and invoicing, meeting with team members to gauge progress toward task completion, and responding to team member or client questions about assigned tasks or projects.


You will apply critical thinking and problem-solving to evaluate, select, and adapt standard techniques and procedures in the development of planning documents for both the private and public sector clients. You will be required to effectively communicate with staff, clients, and teaming partners and serve as a trusted professional bringing creative and innovative solutions to clients.


Other job duties may include:

  • Managing projects involving a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Working closely with clients and serving as the primary, or one of the primary points of day-to-day contact;
  • Leading or assisting with proposal and other business development efforts;
  • Occasional traveling for project work;
  • Performing quality control of project deliverables; and
  • Training and developing the careers of junior level staff.


What ESA Will Do for You


Joining ESA means becoming part of a close-knit team of environmental professionals who contribute to outstanding projects, improve environmental stewardship, and advance a more sustainable and resilient future for our communities and wild places.


At ESA, we spend our days helping to keep the environment in balance, and we want to help keep your life in balance too—by providing benefits such as medical, dental, and vision insurance (paid at 70% for you AND your family), a 401(k) plan with company match, an employee stock ownership program, and paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays, to name a few.


No matter what stage you are at in your career, we provide opportunities for continued growth, development, and recognition. Whether you want to further your technical expertise, sharpen your business acumen, or help lead the next generation of employee-owners, we want to support you in reaching your career goals, and we believe these efforts will not only benefit you, but will also benefit all ESA colleagues and clients. Specific programs we offer include tuition reimbursement, professional development bonuses, and attendance at conferences.


What’s Special About Our Community Development Team


Our Community Development team has built a legacy of success providing environmental compliance, clearance, and advancement. We combine our firm’s technical depth in natural resources science and environmental planning with deep knowledge of local regulatory practices and procedures, including the most current legislation and case law, to create value-added, cost-effective, and legally defensible solutions for our clients.


ESA is unique in that we have a deep scientific, technical, and regulatory expertise, which we apply to our planning and environmental review projects. We keep project approval and implementation at the forefront, balancing long-term planning, community attributes, stakeholder objectives, and cost. Our focus is on comprehensiveness and clarity, and the result is that our planning, CEQA, and NEPA documents are frequently recognized by professional organizations with awards for creative approach and quality.


We have worked on many exciting, award winning projects, such as:


In accordance with ESA’s duty and responsibility to provide and maintain a safe workplace that is free of known hazards and to minimize the exposure to potential hazards, any employee who works from an ESA office or conducts any other in-person ESA work-related activity is required to submit their proof of vaccination status or have received an approved exemption and accommodation.


ESA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment.  (EOE M/V/F/D)